Jinty has gone back to having story pages on the front cover. Science fiction story “Girl In a Bubble” is the cover story for its first few episodes, but not exclusively; the apocalyptic “Jassy’s Wand of Power” also has the cover slot for a few episodes. (More realistic story “Go On, Hate Me!” gets a few cover spots subsequently too, so it’s not only sf in the top slot.)
“Girl In A Bubble” pits the sinister Miss Vaal against Helen Ryan, who she has been keeping in a bubble for … research purposes? To my mind one of the most striking aspects of this story is the Phil Gascoine artwork, where he is experimenting with a slightly ratty line compared to his usual smooth ones. (Only a touch mind you, he’s not going the whole Gary Panter.) “Jassy’s Wand of Power” is the other science fiction-influenced story in the issue: I find it in some ways more intriguing. There is a Great Drought that has struck the world (or just the UK?), psychic powers are outlawed, and the titular character is in both demand and danger as a real water diviner. Feudalism is on the rise, as in so many apocalyptic scenarios, which makes for some very effective cliff-hangers.
Girls comics were never short of conventional morality; “Stefa’s Heart of Stone” is a tear-jerker that can be seen as a warning against obsessional, too-close friendship, but more directly there is also a sort of comics equivalent of an agony-aunt feature: “Is This Your Story?”. This is the first episode of what they call “An emotional, true-to-life series” exploring problem stories that could hit very close to home for the girl readers. In this one, Peggy’s pet dog, Punch, is killed by a driver; she is cold towards the replacement puppy bought by her parents, until the very moment she is about to take it back to the kennels. “It was as sudden and complete as that. The touch of a small paw, the questioning, trustful eyes… and from that moment they were inseparable!”
Stories in this issue:
- Girl in A Bubble (artist Phil Gascoine, writer Pat Mills)
- Gertie Grit, the Hateful Brit! (artist Paul White)
- Stefa’s Heart of Stone (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
- Is This Your Story?
- Rose Among The Thornes (artist Jim Baikie)
- Champion in Hiding (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
- Sisters at War! (artist Trini Tinturé)
- Jassy’s Wand of Power (artist Keith Robson)
- Alley Cat
- Daisy Drudge and Milady Maud